Subalpine

December 2020 finds me in the unusual position of being more or less caught up on photo editing for the year (this year, I mean; previous years are another story). However, that means I should get a bit more aggressive with the photo posting. In that spirit, here is a set from three days entirely off maintained trails in the high country of Idaho’s Gospel-Hump Wilderness.

North of the Salmon, Idaho’s high country doesn’t really attain truly alpine elevations, but there’s a lot of beautiful subalpine terrain, full of small lakes and craggy outcrops.

Eli had a great time on this one, couldn’t get enough scrambling and talus hopping. He was quite indignant when we’d come across traces of game or user trails – he was hoping for the purest wilderness experience possible, I suppose. Still, despite a couple informal fishermens’ trails, it was clear this place did not see much foot traffic at all.

I’ve visited the Gospel-Hump plenty over the years, but always via the Salmon River. It was a pleasant novelty to see the area some 6,000 feet higher. These basins felt beautifully intimate and secluded, and it was easy to forget they were set atop massive vertical relief, perched on top of one of the deepest canyons in the U.S. Someday, I would love to arrange a backpack spanning the complete elevation range of this country, from the heights to the depths.

7 thoughts on “Subalpine

  1. The last two images are outstanding. Eli will realize later in life how fortunate he is. (Nit: the bright reflection in the last image could be tamed, but on the other hand it also provides a counterbalance.)

    • Thanks, Rajan! Yes, that last image definitely had compositional challenges, and I’m not at all sure I hit on the right answer before the light went away. The bright reflections have already been tamed to a substantial degree, but I do like the way they imply additional context for the scene.

  2. Stunners. Really good stuff. Thank you.

    On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 2:57 AM Crest, Cliff & Canyon wrote:

    > Jackson posted: ” December 2020 finds me in the unusual position of being > more or less caught up on photo editing for the year (this year, I mean; > previous years are another story). However, that means I should get a bit > more aggressive with the photo posting. In that” >

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